The Un-Canadian Sport of Backpacking

With countless backpacking trails in the Canadian Rockies, it is astounding to locate more international vacationers than Canadians citizens enjoying an outdoor adventure.

The Rocky Mountains of British Columbia and Alberta present spectacular scenery and memorable treks. Just a few hours from Calgary, backpackers can go additional in to the wilds, remain longer in nature and be one of many few to witness the ever changing beauty with the back-country.

“Maybe we’ve turn into as well accustomed to possessing all of this organic beauty so close to property,” says Greg Lynch, an avid hiker and outside enthusiast with Scenic Travel Canada. “Perhaps which is why much more Canadians never venture into our personal back yard.” Here are a handful of backpacking trips he recommends:

Backpacking to Elbow Lake in Kananaskis, Alberta

K-country is a mountain playground just outdoors of Calgary & Banff and offers backpacking trips for people of all fitness levels. Elbow Lake is a short but steep hike that offers a well maintained campground along the shores of a small, green lake at the base of two mountains. This is the entrance to the Elbow Valley that leads to glacier hikes, waterfalls and high-altitude camping. The beauty and quiet from the area is incredible.

Exploring the Upper Kananaskis Loop Trail – Alberta

Day hikers can take this 15 kilometer walking hiking tour around this turquoise lake. Backpackers can extend the trip into a 2-3 day trek to explore secluded valleys, towering waterfalls and other mountain lakes at higher elevations. The continental divide, which marks the eastern or western flow of water as well as the provincial border, is never out of view.

Camping above the tree-line leaves backpackers potentially exposed to high winds, especially as Pacific weather systems move in from the coast. Camping within the forest, amongst 400 year old trees, provides a lot more shelter and safety.

Hiking along Iceline Trail in Yoho National Park, BC

Exploring the glacier-scoured terrain inside the BC Rockies is magical. Mornings are cold, even within the summer. As you emerge from your tent, inside the shadow of a towering peak, the distant valleys present a mountainous invitation to all those true adventure-lovers.

This 2-3 day trek gives hikers a far more intimate view of Takakkaw Falls, a popular tourist destination near Field, BC. During the day, you’ll hike through terrain on well-trodden wildlife paths and ascend mountain ridges that few people ever get to see (bear training is recommended). The nights are best when the moon is full. With a clear sky, the Milky Way seems close enough to touch.

Backpacking in Canada isn’t just for tourists. Consider exploring your personal backyard and discover the beauty that countless people from around the world have known for years.… Read More

Adventure Outdoors in Bled and Its Surroundings

Nothing prepared us for the beauty of Slovenia’s Bled and Lake Bled. A small town in northwest Slovenia, Bled’s claim to fame is its lovely picturesque lake and the thermal springs which have earned it exclusive spa resort status. To boot, a wealth of outdoor adventure travel activities are on offer here and in the surrounding area.

LakeBled

LakeBled, the jewel in the crown, is a picture of near perfection, a tiny island perched in its center and its castle, guarding the lake protectively from a high crag above. This beautiful lake, which is quite small, affords one of the most relaxing and lovely walks around its banks where one can take in the spectacular scenery. A visit to the church on the island is a must – public transportation is available by motorboat or gondola, but hiring a boat and rowing out is a much more satisfying and exciting experience. Overlooking the lake and perched atop a cliff, Bled Castle offers amazing views of the whole of the lake and the many valleys in the background.

Vintgar Gorge

A short drive from Bled, you come upon Vintgar Gorge, an impressive canyon whose wooden walkway built into the rock crisscrosses the Radovna River and affords great views of cascading falls and rapids. Walk in these beautiful surroundings, with the refreshing mist of the river spraying your face or take an easy white water rafting trip down the nearby river rapids. Vintgar Gorge is a superb place for adventure outdoors!

Postojna Caves

The Postojna Caves, a mere half hour’s drive from Bled, are without a doubt some of the most spectacular caves to visit. A small train takes you through approximately 4 km of the caves, where gallery after gallery of incredible rock formations in hues of black, red and bluish white astounded us. Spaghetti-like stalactites dangle from above while stalagmites appear as if candles melting in Gaudi-like structures, and in the background the oohs and aahs of spectators left gasping by the spectacle. Thin calcite curtains appear as fragile as to give an impression of fluttering voile cloth. Where the train ends, a tour on foot continues and takes you to the second of the cave’s highlights – a view of the Proteus Anguinus – the human fish, a remarkable tiny albino creature found only in these caves.

Ljubljana

Ljubljana, Slovenia’s capital is only an hour’s drive away. This is a great city, small enough to explore on foot, yet classically European. Stroll its quaint streets; hike up to its castle, visible from almost anywhere in town; enjoy the lovely houses in Tarnovo and Krakova neighborhoods as you wander along the banks of the Lubljanca. Ljubljana is first and foremost, though, an outdoor town. Let the sun shine and the city’s many nature lovers are out walking, hiking, cycling and roller blading.

Bled and its surroundings, the wonderful, unspoilt mountains,,its towns and even its capital city all present the best that nature, in all its splendor, has to … Read More